How can performance support tools improve an employee’s performance?
Corporate training has become so important for companies because it can ensure that employees are given the most important knowledge to survive in a company. But, there are some problems with formal training. The first one is that the formal programs don’t improve the practical skills of learners. Most formal training programs have another problem which is that they are not of long duration. The learners are supposed to grasp up all the knowledge in a short training program which does not work well. It just equips them with the basic knowledge and that’s it.
Such programs impart limited knowledge which is not sufficient for learners. On the other hand, an LMS portal can equip learners with so much knowledge. The learners can get continuous feedback about the improvement in performance through the LMS portal because assignments are uploaded on it after every module. The learners are also able to access the manager’s emails about their change in performance. They can ask questions from them if unable to understand anything. Managers can also suggest topics to employees based on their performance gaps. This is how employees can become better at what they do.
The employees need knowledge which they can use.
Hence there should be learning aids given to them in the form of performance support tools(PST’s).
Employees might not have time to log in to the LMS and then search for a specific piece of information. So, they can use PST’s in those cases.
Performance support tools are like notes which employees can access after they have attended formal training.
Since they are concise, they can be used to teach employees about system upgrades and new processes. For example, the employees can be shown 3-minute videos to teach them about software process change and the new video link can be uploaded on the company’s Facebook page.
An elearning content provider knows how to convert formal training into PST’s. This can be done by letting them know which portions are important to be remembered by employees. The PST’s can also be personalized according to the learning path of a specific learner.
These are the different formats of PST’s that can be given to a learner
Text animations: Text animations are important to make sure that the learners can remember a checklist. They can also be used to convey the steps of a workflow.
Interactive infographics: Infographics can also be used to ensure that the learners can grasp the summaries. You can use avatars in infographics to capture learner’s attention. The infographics can be interactive too, where you can add a label to the specific elements. They are an excellent way to let the learners know huge information.
For example, you can create a map of the USA and color different states in different colors according to the population ranges. Then whenever a user clicks on a state, he can see information like the population of a state, etc, and the different literacy levels, etc.
Although such PST’s are not integrated with an LMS portal, they are highly useful for learners when they need just-in-time information. For example, webcasts can be sent to learners through push notifications which they can access to view some important matters like the introduction of a new product, etc. It has been found in surveys that job aids improve employee proficiency much more as compared to formal training.
How to design job aid/performance support tools?
It’s important before designing a performance support tool that you take interviews of the relevant learners. You might have conducted some online research but such interviews are quite crucial.
After conducting interviews, talk to managers to know how the job aids will be given to employees. The employees can also get feedback from managers as to whether their performance has improved or not.
Selecting the right format for a performance support tool
The format of the job aid is important because it depends on the information that needs to be conveyed. For this purpose, you should consider whether the employee needs to remember practical information then a video is an apt tool. But if the employee needs information about a new product, then a poster might be sufficient. A step-by-step diagram is useful to inform employees about a new process. An elearning content provider can help you with the selection. This kind of job aid is useful if the worker has to follow some instructions in a linear order and does not require any decision-making.